Wining and Dining: Miles Jazz Cafe & Mundo Bizarro
Not far from where I stayed in Otrobanda, there is a small district called ‘Pietermaai,’ which has been called the ‘SoHo’ of Curaçao due to its quaint streets filled with boutiques, chic restaurants and hip music lounges. Like everywhere on the island, Pietermaai is also full of gorgeous, colorful buildings and the vibe is calm and laid-back. On the other hand, it clearly has its fair share of dilapidated buildings that have not yet been touched or restored. Our friend Ricardo explained that Pietermaai, just a few years ago, was run-down with, sadly, many homeless people, a drug scene and an overall bad rep. But years ago, re-structuring efforts began being made and new, modern apartments, cool restaurants and trendy hang-out spots have been springing up all over- sounds like gentrification in Brooklyn a bit, doesn’t it? Politics aside, while my friend Gabby and I barely touched half of the places to explore in the district, we did find two great local spots with a magnetic ambiance and atmosphere and tasty food (just scroll down for detailed recommendations). And, I became obsessed with my favorite color combo that I stumbled upon on the trip- a vibrant, tangerine and fuchsia colored building with white accents <3
Started by the owner, Miles (who was there the night we went, tending the bar and got into a cute-funny spat with a customer about who liked my blue hair more), this jazz cafe is the epitome of where I like to go when I’m on vacation, or even home in Brooklyn. Jazz, soul and R&B tunes played all night in the vinyl-sleeve covered cafe while we sipped the local ‘Polar’ beers and shared a savory meat and cheese plate. We bounced back and forth between inside and outside, enjoying the eclectic decor of both, and even playing a game of checkers which was amongst the stack of classic board games on the book-shelf in the bar. The below image is right alongside the cafe, where tables and chairs are set up at night for guests to enjoy the breeze and fresh air.
We were told by Ricardo that this was a Cuban eatery but when we had lunch there we both noted that the cuisine was not traditionally Cuban. However, it was still delicious! I had a mouthwatering truffle pasta with shrimp while Gabby opted for a brunch-style meal of fresh fruits, bacon and eggs. The menu was quite varied! While the cuisine was not distinctly cuban, the interior more so was- antique-style velvet furniture lined the front room of the restaurant and at the back, the bar featured an elegant, tiled mosaic counter and romantic iron bar stools, all details reminiscent of Old Havana.
Stay tuned for the next post featuring my look while exploring Pietermaai.